Probably the most controversial of all rock music for its lyrics and image. Its loud, aggressive music and characterized by the electric guitar play the central role in the music backed up with vocals, drumming and base. It branched off of psychedelic music and blues rock in the 60's. The original heavy metal band is no doubt Black Sabbath and it has been going on for 30-35 years.

The idealogy of the music is very romantic which means it is a praise of imagination, emotion and fantasy. Another central theme heavy metal obsessed apon is chaos which involves mental illness, confusion, war, hell demons and what not. Bands go at this theme to find excitement within it or deep personal and emotional involvement or it can be the band reflecting on the human condition from the outside. Finally, the prime reason of its controversy is its anti-Jeudo Christian imagery and themes like Satan, hell and evil. Like written earlier, metal bands make songs about evil because it goes back to chaos. Also, Jeudo-Chrisitanity is the very foundation of Western civilization and making negative (or anti) songs about it means it is the ultimate rebellion. She further explains why they make songs about evil to question society what is really profane. Yes, but there are still bands who use satanic imagery simply as a gimmick to look rebellious or simply just having fun being offensive. There are some themes of hedonism themes (sex, drugs, rock & roll etc) as praise or sometimes negative criticism. And some metal bands do start bands to blow off teen angst just like any other type of rock music. But the difference is, heavy metal is against the idea of rebellion to be cool and hip. So, understand there is more to heavy metal music than the old, tired "kill your mother/rape your dog" stereotypes.

It has branched out into many sub-genres over the years. It started in the early 70s with traditional metal and then New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM in short), then thrash metal and hair metal in the 80s. 2 children sub-genres Black metal and death metal arose in the late 80s from the parent thrash metal. The 90's is considered the depression of heavy metal when its popularity started to die down. Nu-metal/rapcore, which only a few of them should be considered heavy metal at all, became popular in the mainstream. Doom metal were born in the underground then in the shadow. Now in the 00's, metalcore bands are hitting mainstream while most nu-metal bands popularity withered away.
traditional metal - Black Sabbath and Judas Priest

New Wave Of British Heavy Metal - Iron Maiden and Judas Priest

thrash/speed metal - Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax, Sepultura, Overkill, Megadeth, and Kreator

hair metal - Motley Crew, Kiss, Poison, and Whitesnake

black metal - Burzum, Emperor, Mayhem, Enslaved and Dark Funeral

death metal - Death, The Possesed, Obituary, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower and Dying Fetus

nu-metal (most nu-metal shouldnt be even counted as heavy metal) - Korn, Deftones, Limp Bizkit, Slipknot, and Linkin Park

doom metal - Cathedral, Katatonia, Theatre of Tragedy and My Dying Bride

sludgecore - Crowbar, Eyehategod, Soilent Green and Iron Monkey

power metal - Manowar, Blind Guardian, Primal Fear and Memory Guardian

modern metal (or groove metal) - Pantera, Pissing Razors, Machine Head and Skinlab

metalcore - Lamb of God, Caliban, Killswitch Engage, and Annubus Rising
by murai May 29, 2005

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt
A very misunderstood form of music that actually takes lots of talent! It originated as a mix between the blues and hard rock. While not all agree, Black Sabbath is often credited as being the 1st heavy metal band. However they were some bands before them who had songs that could be considered early examples as Blue Cheer, Cream, etc. The darker sound of metal came by accident actually. Black Sabbath's guitarist Tony Iommi had worked at a sheet metal factory and on his last day of the job he had a freak accident, severing 2 fingertips on his right hand. Feeling like his music career was over, he was inspired by a fellow jazz musician to keep going. He then went on to find different ways to make artificial fingertips and used lighter strings to ease the pain on his 2 fingers while playing the guitar. He also down tuned the guitar. With a down tuned guitar and lyric themes inspired by horror movies the music had a heavier and darker sound. Since then bands such as Judas Priest just ditched the bluesy sound and it has evolved to many sub-genres, each with a different sound.

All you people who say that it's for emos, goth vampires, satan worshippers and think it's all grunts and screams and guys dressed like women are ignorant! Do some damn research before you judge it. I used to love rap and and hated metal for those stereotypes. I was an ignorant prick like all of you. Then rap just got stupid with lyrics about meaningless crap so I decided to listen to rock which eventually lead me to metal then I realized there's more to it than grunts and screams and satanism. Those 3 stereotypes only make up a small portion of metal. Grunts and screams are mainly found in the thrash, death, and black metal sub-genres. Then again not all thrash is made up of screams either. Not all death metal bands have lyrics about murder, rape, satan, etc either. Some of them actually have meaningful lyrics like Death and Opeth (Progressive Death Metal). Even still just because a band has screams or grunts for vocals doesn't mean the band doesn't have talent, if you can simply get passed those vocals and just focus on the music itself you'd find out that they could still are very talented. Good examples would be Children of Bodom, Necrophagist, 80's Metallica (anything after '91 flat out sucks), Wintersun, etc. Even if you can't get passed those vocals you could still like metal but just ignore those extreme sub-genres! Like I said they only make a small portion. Under examples I'll list bands with clean vocals.

And the part about metal bands dressing like women, you guys are referring to 80's glam metal, which I'm glad to say is dead because I hate it to! And remember, lyrics that deal with satan, murder, gore, etc are only in good fun, they're just bands who like to have fun because let's face it. Music about GOD is boring!

Also just to show you how huge metal is here are some of the sub-genres, and I'm pretty sure I'm missing some

Heavy Metal
New Wave of British Heavy Metal
Power Metal
Thrash Metal
Death Metal
Black Metal
Blackened Death Metal
Blackened Thrash Metal
Symphonic Black Metal
Melodic Black Metal
Neo Classical Metal
Symphonic Metal
Melodic Death Metal
Metalcore (false metal)
Nu Metal (false metal)
Progressive Metal
Progressive Death Metal
Technical Death Metal
Folk Metal
Viking Metal (though it's more of a theme really)
Alternative Metal
Glam Metal (gay and dead)
Groove Metal
Grindcore

I know there's more but i'm missing them! Seriously metal is so huge and diverse, open up your minds! All those sub-genres sound different from each other!
Heavy Metal Bands with clean vocals: Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Helloween, Gamma Ray, Edguy, Nightwish, Blind Guardian, Sonata Arctica, Stratovarius, Epica, Hammerfall, DragonForce, Dio, Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, Opeth (a mix of both grunts and singing, a very talented band), the Scorpions, Deff Leppard, Van Halen
by Mexican Metalhead May 23, 2008

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt
Heavy Metal is a great Genre. It all started in the 60s where The Kinks "You really got me" showed a perfect example of a metal riff, And steppenwolf said the perfect name for the genre in the lyrics "Heavy Metal Thunder" in the song Born to be wild (though the word thunder never made it)It was created by the legendary greats Black Sabbath in 1970. When Tony lost his fingers tips he thought he would never play again but when you replace them with plastic covers he made monster riffs never imagined to be loved forever. Heavy Metal is characterize with Rock n Roll, BluesRock, Hard Rock, and Psychedelic rock. BANds like Judas Priest, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Iced Earth, Blind Guardian, Dream Theater are really perfect examples of true heavy metal.
In the late 70s, Metal was losing populartiy cause of such "music" such as Punk which ran in the UK, and Disco, whci ran in the US. Punk was just banging motes and making all these noices, disco would just piss you off but it died out easily (waiting for hip hop to do the same). But in 1980, Metal was brought back to live and it's rescuer's were none other than 5 men with one name, Judas Priest.
Heavy Metal
Judas Priest
Metallica
AC/DC (Mostly rock)
Led Zeppelin
Alice Cooper
Iron Maiden
Slayer
Arch Enemy
by Alan Massacre April 14, 2008

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt
a genre of music that originated in the late 1960's. it has roots in blues music , psychedelic rock , and hard rock. the first ever heavy metal bands are black sabbath and led zeppelin . in the late 70's , due to the influence of punk rock , the subgenres NWOBHM ( new wave of british heavy metal ) and thrash metal were formed. then , thousands of subgenres such as death metal and black metal started coming out.fans of heavy metal are known as " metalheads " and " headbangers " .
traditional heavy metal : black sabbath , led zeppelin
thrash metal : slayer, anthrax
NWOBHM : motorhead , iron maiden
death metal : death , cannibal corpse
progressive metal : dream theater , queensryche
black metal : venom , mercyful fate
by someguywhomakesdefinitions May 16, 2007

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt
A form of music that came about in the late 70's and reached its peak of success in the early 80's. It was the first form of "metal" music and it has roots in 70's hard rock. contrary to popular belief the term has nothing to do with newer metal genres as these genres should be referred to as simply "metal". The metal genres most similar to heavy metal are "speed metal" and "power metal". There are some heavy metal bands that started out as hard rock bands such as Judas Priest and Riot. These bands are sometimes referred to as "proto-metal".
Iron Maiden, Jag Panzer, Virgin Steele, Omen, etc.

Jag Panzer is a great heavy metal band!
by heavy metal machine September 11, 2009

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt
Real music (Not Korn or Limp DickZit) that I still like even at 31 years old!
by Muff Diver October 17, 2003

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt
is a subgenre of rock. it chracterized by heavy distored guitar shreding at the speed of light(depends on what subgenre it is) it has a loud thunderous drum( which metal drums are the best drums ever played) and bass( a very underated instrument) section and is topped by a vocalist singing louder than hell. there is actually lots of diffrent types of vocals but the main ones are high octave(classic metal), guttural(death, black) and what i call thrash vocals(basiclly niether high or low just in between speaking/singing. can be very fast or slow depending on what subgenre it is. this genre of music has many subgenres in it which have sub genres of its own, many of the popular subgenres are thrash metal, death, black and power metal. its roots can be traced back to classical music, blues, even jazz, and rock and really kicked off when black sabbath came aorund with their 1970 album black sabbath
the lyrical themes are all over the charts. but some of the common themes are about rebellion, seperation, war and violence, counter culture, history, why mankind does stuff and philosophy, politics and corruption.
fans are often called metalheads, look that up and are all over the place in asia europe south america and america. warning we metalheads are extremely rabid and will defend our music at any cost ANY COST

whether metal is good or bad music depends on you and your opinion and your taste
real heavy metal
iron maiden judas priest saxon megadeth testament antrhax early metallica slayer death angel gamma ray helloween deep purple black sabbath tank venom death cannibal corpse pantera blind guardian sacred reich flotsam and jetsam aspid

oh boy there is a ton of great bands
by metalguy121 December 19, 2011

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt
Contrary to mostly every-other definition of heavy metal here, it is a form of music, mainly instrumental; characterized by polyphonic, loud, skillful sounds. It is the most similar music in terms of composition to classical music. Also contrary to popular belief heavy metal is older than classic rock, and is still very much alive today
Guy 1: Hey I was in AP music today and we were discussing Vivaldi.
Guy 2: Cool, you know if you like Vivaldi you should check out Baroque Skins.
Guy 1: Sure what kind of band are they?
Guy 2: heavy Metal
by ReTARDIS August 23, 2012

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

Your favorite word on a white mug.

Create a mug

The Urban Dictionary Mug

One side has the word, one side has the definition. Microwave and dishwasher safe. Lotsa space for your liquids.

Buy the mug

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Soft and offensive. Just like you.

Buy the t-shirt

The Urban Dictionary T-Shirt

Smooth, soft, slim fit American Apparel shirt. Custom printed. 100% fine jersey cotton, except for heather grey (90% cotton).

Buy the t-shirt